As we wrap up this year, what predictions do marketing & communications leaders have for the year ahead?
We asked a variety of executives, who work in corporate communications roles in-house, run communications agencies, or are consultants, to provide one prediction for 2024. The future and impact of artificial intelligence was a prominent topic, with other perspectives focusing on the tech IPO market, the importance of brand marketing/communications investments, as well as the continued blurring of lines across media channels.
Lee McEnany Caraher
President & CEO, Double Forte
2024 will see marketing and comms teams struggle to balance two seemingly diametrically opposed trends – advancing generative AI and the quest for authenticity. So, while we’ll be seeking to become efficient with the fast-changing generative AI options that promise to make our work more efficient (no easy task in itself), we will be challenged to be eminently human and authentic in all of our communication or risk alienating audiences. Never a dull moment. My advice, use AI to start ideas, not produce finished work.
Founder, Canary & Shield
In the broadest global context, the backdrop to 2024 will be the roiling geopolitical situation; political power shifts; climate change; and authenticity issues serving as the top risks coupled with the individual challenges that each organization faces.
To thrive, marketing and PR professionals will need to step out from the headlights of AI and collectively direct and shape how this technology evolves. 2024 will be a year of learning how to build and retain authority, identity, and authenticity during the rapid evolution of many kinds of AI. Professionals must stay abreast of new developments in the context of their industry sector.
As citizens and consumers, we all need to get much smarter at looking beyond the headline, looking to the origin of information as a waypoint to the truth. This is counter to the fast information consumption and instant like/forward culture that has formed over the previous decade, and I hope that consumers will become even smarter in triangulating what they see on social media and understanding the impact of disinformation; and how that impacts their own private and professional reputation. AI is a force for change and a genie that cannot be returned to its bottle, but we have the chance to separate and boost its potential for positive change from those with malicious intent.
Orlando De Bruce
Global Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications, Saviynt
Next year, we’ll see the return of technology company IPOs. In 2023, we saw companies like Arm, Instacart, and Klaviyo all go public, opening up the door for other companies that have been waiting for the right moment to go public after filing confidentially to do so. Historically, bounce-back years like this year are always followed by a positive year for the Nasdaq-100, so I’m optimistic that as businesses fare better and we see a healthier economy, 2024 will finally be the year for several high-profile listings.
Senior Director of Global Marketing & Communications, Ascend Elements
The lines between earned media and paid media will continue to blur in 2024, with creative assets like infographics, photography, and video production becoming increasingly important tools for storytelling.
Founder of Maison Lafargue and Marketing Advisor
In 2024, brand equity is the new currency for businesses, particularly in B2B. Most marketers think the secret weapon of scale-up companies is solely performance marketing, and that growth investments are competing with brand ones. Yet, with B2B sales processes getting longer and more competitive, and AI penetrating the tech stack, brand building becomes a strategic investment for 2024.
This is because brand investments can profoundly impact 5 key areas (5Cs) in clarity , conviction , cultural relevance , consistency, and creativity. Marketers will step up their game next year and truly connect brand and performance.
In 2024, I think we’re going to see an explosion of new generative AI business applications built across a variety of verticals and marketing/communications teams will be no exception. Do I think tools like ChatGPT will replace PR and marketing professionals? No. Like any new technology, it will be yet another tool in our tool belt to help drive efficiency and even creativity. Remember the world pre-Google? Pre-internet? I do. But as the old Spider-Man adage states: “With great power comes great responsibility” … So we must respect the power of the tool but not simply rely 100% on its capabilities. There’s something to be said for domain expertise in any industry. I think we’ll continue to see an evolution of the symbiotic relationship between human and machine in our professional working environments.”
What do you think of these predictions? You can also read Gravitate’s predictions on the state of AI in 2024 here, and more general predictions on the state of the tech sector and PR industry respectively here.